Human Rights Council
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) founded in 2006 is a crucial inter-governmental entity working to ensure that the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is upheld at all levels. In this session of the Human Rights Council, we will be discussing two very interesting topics that each touch upon a multitude of human rights and put certain governments in the hot seat regarding their treatment of peaceful protesters, civil advocates and LGBTQ individuals. For our first topic, governments around the world regulate how peaceful protesters can assemble, however, in many countries these regulations may be overstepping, violating multiple human rights from the right to assemble, to the very right to life. Similarly with our second topic, it is evident to see that those in the LGBTQ community face a large amount of stigmatization and violence that in some places has put their very lives in danger.
The responsibility of determining if facets of these issues are violations of human rights is in the hands of the 47 Member States in the Human Rights Council. It will be your job to determine where the line dividing the rights of governments to rule as best they see fit and the protection of Human Rights. Then, we can work as a body to develop mechanisms that support our mandate to uphold human rights for all.
Protection of Human Rights in the use of Protest and Civic Advocacy
With people’s movements largely on the rise to combat injustices relating to social and political inequality, the issue of governmental suppression of the right to protest is a key issue to human rights. Leading justice advocates in movements such as the Sudanese Liberation and Pro-Democracy Movement and the Saudi Arabian Feminist Movement have become targets to unfair trials/prison time, torture, unjust death penalty, and sexual assault at the hands of the law. However on the side of the establishment, protest brings civil unrest to nations and can at times promote illegal activity. While the right to protest is explicitly mentioned in past UNHRC resolutions, Member States still show unwillingness to comply allowing fair right to peaceful protests. We also plan to look at the use of online protests and the protections of social media advocacy to organize and conduct assemblies. Also, UNHRC must also define limits on civil disobedience and the right of nations to regulate the protest organization. With global movements on the rise, the protection of individuals from governmental suppression is detrimental to the wellbeing of civilians in the global sphere.
Eliminating the Use of Violence Towards LGBTQ Individuals
Members of the LGBTQ globally are still faced with threats and attempts of sexual, emotional and physical violence both ideologically and systematically. According to the UN, there are currently 72 nations in which same sex relationships are illegal, and there are 8 which relationships are punishable by death penalty. Outside of this, there are hundreds of laws which permit the suppression of the LGBTQ and serve as threats to their individual wellbeing. Religious freedom in governmental activity, such as in Islamic Republics like Iran and Afghanistan, is a core value in determining the ethics of LGBTQ exclusion and ill treatment. While the United Nations has provided significant strides in the condemnation of violence towards the LGBTQ, the stigmatization of the community carries the issue of harassment. Within this topic, we plan to have a specific focus on measures to deter the use of the death penalty towards LGBTQ individuals and plans for their safety in societies that condemn their livelihood.
Get further information: www.ohchr.org/en/hrbodies/hrc/pages/home.aspx